BRISTOL — During an Oct. 14 virtual town hall meeting hosted by the Mount Abraham Unified School District, discussion facilitator Sue McCormack reminded the district’s Community Engagement Committee, or CEC, that as recently as last fall Five-Town residents were reticent to discuss future possibilities for school buildings that might need to be closed.
“We thought it would be really helpful to start having a proactive conversation about that,” McCormack recalled. “And in the very first town we went to, what we found was that people were not ready to have that conversation. And we changed our...
BRISTOL — Mount Abraham Unified School District officials want to talk with 5-Town residents about a financial future that may require closing some of their schools.
“It is not without a great deal of concern and anxiety that the MAUSD Board is undertaking conversations that include the possible closure of schools,” wrote board chair Dawn Griswold in an open letter to the community last month. “I believe I can speak for all members when I say that especially at this uncertain moment in time, this is not something we want to be bringing to the community to consider.”
But with steadily...
Editor’s note: The writers sent this letter to the Mount Abraham Unified School District board and cc’d the Independent.
Dear MAUSD School Board Members,
It has become painfully clear that our district schools are in a tough place financially. We hear you. We share your concerns, and very much appreciate both your commitment to kids and your earnest sense of urgency in seeking solutions. At the same time, we have come to believe there may be steps we can take that will enable our six schools to survive and flourish. With this in mind, we request that you put on hold any plans (including plans...
Dear Bristol, Lincoln, Monkton, New Haven and Starksboro Communities,
For the last few years, the Mount Abraham Unified School District (MAUSD) School Board has been wrestling with the realities of declining enrollment and rapidly increasing health insurance costs. At the same time, we’ve seen the need to improve our educational outcomes and support for students socially, emotionally and physically regardless of their economic status, race, ethnicity, gender orientation, or ability. We are charged with doing this important work at a cost that the community deems acceptable, and we know that...
MOUNT ABRAHAM UNION High School is the youngest building in the Bristol-area school district, but it is also the one in the most need of repair.
BRISTOL — Even as it celebrates recent successes — well-received community engagement last fall, Essential Persons Child Care and Meals on the Bus this spring, a high school graduation ceremony for the ages, and the reopening of schools this week — the Mount Abraham Unified School District is facing some tough decisions about its future, which will require robust conversations throughout its five member towns.
Like many school districts around the state, MAUSD has experienced a steady enrollment decline and sharp increases in health care and other costs.
As of Aug. 11, MAUSD projected it...
BRISTOL — School starts next week in the Mount Abraham Unified School District, as elsewhere in Vermont, and by now students and families know it’s going to be different from anything anyone’s ever seen before.
Then it will change, and change again.
Which is why it’s hard for educators to respond to questions like “What will my child’s school day look like?” At this time, in the middle of a deadly global pandemic, the answer is going to be some version of “It depends.”
But “It depends” does not mean “I don’t know,” MAUSD officials say. Far from it.
For the past several months, MAUSD officials...
We need our communities to come together now more than ever.
Our school systems exist to educate the children of our communities so that they “can meet the challenges of lifelong learners and responsible citizens at a cost deemed acceptable by the community,” according to the ENDS policy of the Mount Abraham Unified School District. Furthermore, this policy states that MAUSD is “committed to equity in outcomes for each student so that students’ achievement of these ENDS is not limited or predetermined by characteristics such as family economics, ethnicity, race, religion, class, geography,...
BRISTOL — Mount Abraham Union School District released its plans for the fall reopening yesterday: Read them here.
CONSTRUCTION WORKERS SPENT a good part of May and June demolishing the downstairs varsity locker rooms at Mount Abraham Union High School, in preparation for a complete renovation. Upstairs, similar work was happening in the junior varsity locker rooms.
Independent photo/Christopher Ross
BRISTOL — With school buildings emptied out this spring because of the pandemic, Mount Abraham Unified School District officials have taken the opportunity to jump-start some long-planned renovations at their Bristol high school, and accomplish some emergency fixes.
Mount Abraham Union Middle/High School students will see a change as soon as they approach the front door.
Work will soon get underway on the building’s entrance, which will feature both improved security and accessibility, as well as provide a more welcoming environment, said MAUSD Facilities Director Joel FitzGerald during a...
BRISTOL — As Mount Abraham Unified School District officials iron out plans for in-person classes this fall, they are ready to go with some limited student contact this summer.
MAUSD summer programs — including Expanded Learning, Summer Meals and special education programming — will get under way later this month, albeit with significant modifications because of the ongoing pandemic.
Enrollment for the Summer Expanded Learning Program (ELP), which will begin at Mount Abraham Union Middle/High School on June 29, is already closed, according to ELP Director Mandy Chesley-Park, who spoke in an...